What would cause the CEO, President and Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics America to gather in the same room (other than a shareholders meeting) and call something an “historical event,” a “milestone” and say, “we are hiring a lot of people?” — the June 11 opening of the new Executive Briefing Center. Mobile Enterprise was in attendance for the vertically-focused solutions showcase, built just for the enterprise. The center is located at the company’s North American headquarters in Ridgefield Park, NJ.
The new solutions center mirrors the new enterprise strategy that Tim Wagner, Vice President & General Manager of Enterprise Sales & Marketing at Samsung Mobile, told Mobile Enterprise about in an earlier interview, and reflects the company’s aggressive approach to rule in B2B, just as it has in the consumer space.
And when it says dominate, the company is not just being abstract. It has very specific goals in mind through its “Vision 2020.” Samsung Electronics America President Tim Baxter elaborated, “What anchors this vision — because Samsung is a very much a numbers oriented organization — is a view that we shared to go from $100B in 2010 (as that was the size of the company then) to $400B by 2020.”
“Marching” to 2020
Where will such growth come from? One word—enterprise. The company has made it clear, in both words and action, that the enterprise space is where it sees the most opportunity. CEO Y.K. Kim CEO Samsung Electronics America, said that the enterprise business is “extremely important” to Samsung — with emphasis on extremely.
He explained that four years ago when the company laid out the vision — “a roadmap to evolve and grow the company over the next decade” — within the framework the leadership team identified B2B as one of the company’s “key focuses and opportunities for the future.” And since then, Samsung has taken “important steps” to align the organizations within to address the business markets.
According to Kim, who has been with Samsung for more than 30 years, “While the transformation is still ongoing, we have made strong progress. Opening up our Executive Center today is an important milestone in this long-term effort…this is a very, very historical event today… Now we march into the next decade.”
Baxter also called the opening “a milestone for us,” and a step towards keeping “unprecedented growth” continuing. He cited three “pillar” products as responsible for success thus far — phones, TVs and the semiconductors that underpin those— and acknowledged that they will still a very big part of the company’s future. However, he went on to say, there is also a recognition that new businesses will be key catalysts for growth — one of the biggest areas being the enterprise/B2B space.
“It’s perfect timing for Samsung to make a commitment to this area, and we believe that, while we have a strong position in the consumer business, there’s never been a better time for B2B — where the consumerization of IT and enterprise is happening. I think about my experience at a prior company where most new technology began in the enterprise space and trickled down to the consumer — that’s all turned around now. So we think this big trend is a big opportunity,” Baxter said.
Baxter also pointed out that today’s consumer and, now the enterprise, expect devices to seamlessly share and connect with each other. With Samsung’s experience (and success) doing this in the consumer space, it positions them ahead in the enterprise. “As you will see here today, the enterprise is front and center,” he said.
Living & Winning the Enterprise
Samsung has reorganized its businesses in the last year, according to Baxter, aligning to support its vertically-focused B2B market strategy, which serves the hotel industry, medical businesses, retail, finance, education and corporate.
Tod Pike, Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics America explained that this is how the center is planned out as well. “You will see we built vignettes in the verticals, and, in each of them, we are focused on the interoperability of the devices and how they work together to create new solutions for our customers.”
The company now had dedicated enterprise teams in each of the verticals as well, and is adding “significant resources.” Baxter said, “These teams are focused everyday on living and winning the enterprise needs.” It’s through this focus — on understanding what the end user and the business needs are — that the company believes it will be able to translate needs into “products and solutions.”
Samsung Is Hiring
Pike talked more about both the strategy of the center and the internal plan for Samsung. He noted that the center is fully staffed and organized to make sure the experience is “first rate,” and that it is being leveraged and optimally utilized.
But, he added, “This isn’t the only thing we are doing. We are hiring a lot of people. In the last year, we added a staff of up to 80 people to help us drive this business in the U.S.” Samsung has also embarked on a brand campaign and provided new infrastructure to market to and serve the B2B space better.
“We are very lucky in that we have the best devices in the industry, but now we are finding ways to get these devices to work together, to solve problems for our customers, and to make our customers more efficient and effective in the work that they do,” Pike said.
It’s clear from this statement, and prior discussions, that while traditionally a device-centric organization, when it comes to the enterprise, Samsung is all about solutions. The underlying flexibility of the center will also provide a format this strategy— enabling problem solving, not just in a specific vertical, but learnings across industries as well.